I remember years ago, well before my relocation to London, I was visiting the city with my sister as a tourist. It was spring, and our watches were set to US Central Standard Time (CST), so we absolutely would’ve missed our return flight had the receptionist at our hostel not happened to mention that morning that the UK’s clocks had just changed overnight. Gah! Thank goodness for that bit of small talk!
We hadn’t even considered a time change simply because clocks weren’t changing at that same time in the US. The discrepancies between Daylight Savings Time changes across different countries is a good thing for you to note, then. Yes, when you’ve moved to London, you’ll hopefully be in the know when you hear everyone talking about it days in advance, but it’s also worthwhile to take advantage of any windows in which the time difference between here and home is shorter.
For instance, the clocks sprang forward in spring this year on March 13th in the States and on March 27th in the UK. So, for two weeks, instead of recognizing a six-hour difference between England and Chicago (where my family lives), there were only five. This may not seem like a big deal to you, but once you relocate to London and start making long-distance phone/Skype calls or conducting business, perhaps, with your home office, an hour is everything. I have monthly conference calls usually scheduled at 8pm CST that I can never Skype into because that’s 2am here in London! Yet when it was 1am in March, that somehow was a lot more feasible.
In any case, even our Virgin Media TV guide has been reminding us this week that the UK clocks change this weekend on October 30th; the program schedule displays “BST” (British Summer Time) after each half-hour, just as a noticeable heads-up that those times will convert to GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) soon enough. The US’s clocks, on the other hand, won’t be falling back an hour until November 6th.
If Daylight Savings in general leaves you scratching your head like I am right now (actually, I’m just frowning and shaking my head in annoyance, despite being thrilled to catch an additional hour of sleep soon), here’s a useful history of BST and time changes provided by the National Maritime Museum, which is situated in the part of London where time begins, Greenwich: www.nmm.ac.uk. See also my previous blog post, “Moving to London: Time Will Tell…But Can YOU Tell the Time?” for other factlets about UK time.
In the meantime, the clock is ticking closer to your relocation, so get your gears turning and start preparing—ready or not, here you come! Oh, but let’s not be silly…of COURSE you’ll be ready, because your London Relocation agent‘s help in finding an apartment fast is putting time back on your side!